In the ongoing battle to convince the rest of the world that Tacoma is something more than an affordable Seattle suburb with high crime rates, our art community–led by the indefatiguable Lynn Di Nino–has come up with a brilliant idea: postcards of Tacoma, showing us as a place where art, beauty and humor meet, along with a good dose of sarcastic self-deprecation.
Picture Tacoma is a series of artist-designed postcards about our fair city. They’ve been on sale for a couple of months now at museums, galleries and bookstores around town, and they range from the simply appreciative (Peter Serko’s twilight meditation on the Bridge of Glass) to subversively suggestive (Di Morgan Graves’ “Tacoma-we’ve got balls”) to conceptual (Rick Semple’s collage of local staircases epitomizing the “City of Destiny.”) Newest on the block, and not yet on the website, is Beautiful Angle’s noir take on Death in Tacoma.
According to Di Nino, the postcards fill a big vacuum. “I was in the Hotel Murano gift shop and realized that all the postcards were of Seattle,” she explains. “It was really insulting. So I looked around town and only found a couple of Tacoma, and those were out-of-date.”
So Di Nino invited the art community to step up to the plate. So far there are 21 individual cards, which sell for $1 each in stores. The artists get back 50c of this, although some are donating their profits to the Emergency Food Network. Kristie Worthey at the Tacoma Art Museum gift shop says the cards are selling extremely well: Number One on the list is Morgan Graves’ effort, which has been reordered several times.
“The cards carry the unique Tacoma spirit,” says Di Nino. Which is? “A cross between artist and blue collar.”
You can celebrate the Picture Tacoma artists’ postcard project at a launch party this Sunday from 4-8 p.m. at the Grand Impromptu Gallery, 608 S. Fawcett St., Tacoma, where the artists will be on hand to sign cards.